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4 NIGHTS MEKONG CRUISE
Vietnam Saigon – Cambodia Phnom Penh
SAIGON - PHNOM PENH CRUISES
There can be no tapestry of river life as fascinating and varied as the River Mekong. Indeed there can be no more striking a cultural contrast as that between the bustling Vietnam delta and the tranquility of Cambodia. We pass from the vibrant French colonial port of Saigon, through the vast delta so rich in human life and endeavour, to travel along the main channel into the rich countryside of Cambodia. Your journey will end in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh. In 2003, with the RV Mekong Pandaw, we were the first ship to attempt this extraordinary journey, surmounting complex bureaucratic and navigational obstacles. We now have four ships plying this amazing waterway.
RV MEKONG PANDAW
RV TONLE PANDAW
SAIGON - PHNOM PENH EXPEDITION ITINERARY
DAY 1 SAIGON TO MY THO
Transfer from the meeting point in Saigon to My Tho Port. After boarding your Pandaw we sail downstream to Ben Tre and anchor midstream. In the afternoon, there is a lecture on Vietnamese life on the Mekong Delta. During cocktail hour passengers are entertained by an indigenous dance group and meet your key crew.
DAY 2 BEN TRE
Travel by sampans through mangroves and bamboo groves to the fruit orchards of Ben Tre. In these local artisans are at work and are invite visitors into their homes for tea, fruit and honey products made from their own honey. This is an area rich in bird life and on our return journey we travel by horse cart through the lush countryside. After lunch, the ship moors off Cho Lach island for pot making and further glimpses of Delta life, agriculture and local Viet hospitality including a culinary lesson in making traditional Banh Xeo.
DAY 3 CON PHUOC ISLAND
After breakfast, there is a short coach journey to the Gao Giong ‘green oasis’ with its bird sanctuary. Here a diverse selection of water and egrets that gather in the tens of thousands across the Duong Tharp Muoi or ‘Plain of Reeds’. Rowing boats traverse the canals to take us to see the principal nesting areas. After returning to the boat we cruise upstream to Con Phuoc Island. We Moor in a small canal off Con Phuoc Island and go ashore to explore the island by Xi Loi seeing basket production and visiting a 100-year old Catholic Church as well as local woodworking artisans.
DAY 4 CAMBODIA BORDER
Afternoon, explore the labyrinthine canal system around Tan Chau to visit a Taoist temple where the monks will read fortunes. Continue through local villages by Xi Loi stopping off to help locals tend their fields before stopping off to visit a fish farm and earn merit by releasing fish back into the Mekong. Border crossing formalities take up much of the afternoon and during this stationary period there is an optional tour of the working ship and fruit carving classes on deck.
DAY 5 PHNOM PENH
Disembark in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, after breakfast at the International Passenger Pier at Sisowath Quay, next to Titanic Restaurant. Please note: Our crew will be able to hand out your passports after 11.00. If you decide to fly out the same day then your flight must be after 14.00 (domestic) or 15.00 (international).